First thoughts on the Panasonic GX1 and 25 1.4 Summilux Lens

First thoughts on the Panasonic GX1 and 25 1.4 Summilux Lens

There is one camera that was slated to be released at the end of December 2011 that excited me when I read about it, and this is it.  After Panasonics last couple of fumbles with their GF2 and GF3 they have seemed to return to their roots with the all new GX1. This new GX1 is something special mainly because it has once again taken the shape and form of the now considered classic GF1, the one that garnered high praise among mostly everyone in the photo world. I loved the GF1 as it had the style and shape of a rangefinder but the usability of a DSLR (almost), all in a small size and discreet package. There are many people still using the GF-1 today because it is that good.

The tiny teeny GF2 and GF3 were cameras that did NOT follow the design of the GF1 as Panasonic pushed to make these camera smaller and they ended up dumbing them down a bit to appeal to the point and shoot crowd. They were assuming that smaller was better, probably because Sony hit the market with great success when they released the NEX line of cameras. What Panasonic failed to realize is that almost everyone was waiting for the new and improved GF1, which they did not release until just now with the GX1.

The GX1 brings with it the same style and shape as the GF1, though it is a little bit smaller in size, though nothing like the GF2 and GF3. It’s big improvements are its faster AF, a much better and newer 16MP sensor, much better high ISO performance, better LCD and longer battery life. Also full HD video. Panasonic calls the AF “Light Speed” AF which implies it is crazy fast. Hmmmm. Can it beat the E-P3’s “Fastest AF in the world” that Olympus boasted?

“The DMC-GX1 features 0.09 seconds of Light Speed AF, which is achieved by reducing the detection time for focusing by the synchronization of the lens and the sensor at 120 fps. Not only the accuracy, but also the speed, surpasses high-end digital SLRs with phase-difference AF with the advanced contrast AF system in the DMC-GX1”

I received the GX1 as a body only kit but already had the new Panasonic 25 1.4 lens as well as a couple other M4/3 lenses. When it arrived I was excited to check it out and did so immediately. First impressions? I am disappointed that Panasonic did NOT put in an EVF. Fuji has done it with their HUGELY successfull X100. Nikon did it with their big hit, the V1 (the V1 is selling very well), Sony included one with their state of the art NEX-7 and I have a feeling the next Olympus PEN will indeed have a built in EVF. Why did Panasonic release a new EXTERNAL EVF and make everyone who wants to use one shell out another $250 for it? The GX1 is pricey as it is with the “body only” coming in at $699. Add in a lens and an EVF ad you are well over $1000. I think they should have popped in a viewfinder but nope! If you want one you will have to buy this new EVF they released.

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The Olympus E-P3 is about the same cost as a GX1 with kit lens ($799) so I am hoping that the GX1 will be a better all around camera than the Olympus since it is newer, and I really like the Olympus. I will be reviewing this camera over the next 7-10 days, shooting it and evaluating its usability, speed, quality, high ISO, movie quality and just about everything else that matters when testing a camera.

I will even try my best to do a head to head against the E-P3 to see which one takes the crown in the micro 4/3 arena because in my opinion, the best M4/3 camera to date is the Olympus E-P3. Why do I think that? Well, the images I got with it were of GREAT quality. The new Oly lenses rock, and the build, features, LCD, feel, and speed of the E-P3 make it a joy to shoot. The out of camera JPEGS from the PEN series is also quite good. So if the GX1 can beat it then I suspect it will be “the” M4/3 camera to get. Of course there is still the Panasonic G3 if you like a DSLR shape and EVF.

So look for my review soon of this camera and lens combo, the GX1 and 25 1.4. Below tare a few “1st shots” I snapped with it over the past two days. Nothing fancy but can give you some idea of what to expect. Still, I wish this had a built in EVF! It would have ROCKED when shooting in the full AZ sun. I can say that the Nikon V1 I have has been my goto camera and more pleasurable to shoot than any other mirror less so far. Mainly due to speed, EVF, OOC color/quality and build/feel. On that note I will wait to write more until the official review. Enjoy the 1st samples below. This is NOT the review, that will be up soon and I look forward to shooting this camera over the next week or two!

 

You can click the image for the full size file – Shot with the Panasonic/Leica 25 1.4 at 3.2

same lens, at f/5.6 – click image for larger version (crop)

At f/4.5

and wide open at 1.4 – this one was shot as a JPEG

f/8 – This lens has a rich quality..can already see it

one more – 100% crop embedded – shot at f/8

The Extensive feature set of the Panasonic GX1

16.0Mp Live MOS Sensor
The 16.0Mp Live MOS sensor plays a big role in high quality image rendering. With the dedicated circuit, which reads out signals with minimum noise, the level of noise is significantly suppressed by more than 66%. In shooting at high ISO setting, S/N (Signal-to-Noise) value is improved by approx. 200% compared with the conventional 12.1 megapixel sensor. The sensor performance improves by 6db at ISO 3200 and max. 9db at ISO 6400, resulting in the dramatically flawless image without noise
High-Sensitivity Shooting Up to ISO 12800
Taking full advantage of the Live MOS sensor and Venus Engine, images can shot in low-lit situations at with clarity and quality. The 12800 high ISO sensitivity setting is stunningly clear with sharp resolution
Venus Engine
In addition to the high-speed signal processing, thanks to the 3 CPUs, the image processor Venus Engine boasts its excellent performance with an adoption of noise reduction technology for an even higher quality image. By separating chromatic noise from luminance noise even more accurately by applying the optimal noise reduction to each, you can capture clear and beautiful images even when shooting at high ISO sensitivity levels
Micro Four Thirds System Standard
By adopting the Micro Four Thirds System standard, the DMC-GX1 features a mirrorless structure that eliminates the mirror box and optical viewfinder unit. This carefully preserves the image quality while maintaining a compact profile, and provides you with even higher levels of performance in a digital interchangeable lens system camera
LUMIX G / Leica DG Lenses
The main appeal of an interchangeable lens system camera is the ability to achieve a wider range of expression by changing the lens. The DMC-GX1 lets you use the versatile lineup of Micro Four Thirds System standard lenses, including the LUMIX G / Leica DG lenses
Intelligent D-range Control
The Intelligent D-range Control offers even more natural looking images by optimizing the exposure for each part of a photo, preventing blocked shadows and blown highlights and helping ensure that gradation and details are reproduced beautifully, including the blue color of the sky. An automatic backlight compensation function is activated whenever the camera detects the subject in backlight
Intelligent Resolution Technology
With the Intelligent Resolution technology, 3 areas – outlines, detailed texture areas, and soft gradation areas – are automatically detected. Apart from the uniform enhancement of sharpness, the innovative technology, Intelligent Resolution precisely performs signal processing pixel by pixel in the most effective way for a particular area. As a result images are naturally clear and crisp in both photo and video recording
Sophisticated Design, Functional Beauty
  • One: Panasonic crafted a mode dial that is supremely easy to grip and turn. Additionally, the characters are laser printed, making them easy to see and able to stand up to the test of time.
  • Two: The ergonomically designed grip fits the DMC-GX1’s flat profile, yet is easy to hold. Its tactile feel offers the shooter comfort thanks to its resin construction
  • Three: Optimum layout of control buttons and the mode dial, turn-and-press dial, and dedicated function buttons make the operation of the DMC-GX1 smooth and easy
Thoughtfully Designed Camera
As a camera from the premium GX line of the LUMIX G Micro System, the external design of the camera has been developed with no compromising in any detail. Available in silver and black, the DMC-GX1 offers luxurious comfort for the shooting experience with stunning performance and a host of functions
Level Gauge
The Level Gauge lets the camera detect the horizontal / vertical angle of view with its internal level, which works with the acceleration sensor. Photos shot in a portrait aspect will be automatically displayed vertically no matter which lens is used
Built-In Flash (GN7.6 Equivalent)
In spite of its compact size, the DMC-GX1’s built-in flash has a light intensity that is equivalent to GN7.6, and you can adjust the intensity within a range of +/-EV 2 in 1/3 EV steps. It also lets you use 1st curtain sync. flash and 2nd curtain sync. flash to capture nightscapes with a natural flow of light
Customization for Comfortable Shooting
Meticulous attention was paid to operating ease when designing the DMC-GX1. The body design allows you to freely customize settings. The DMC-GX1 provides uncompromising performance, and delivers the ultimate in intuitive operation and shooting
Touch Screen Operation
The DMC-GX1 gives you smooth touch control shooting. When recording, you can operate the auto focus and shutter release at the same time with just a touch. When playing back, you can drag the image across the screen with your finger
Touch Zoom
Zoom operation can be controlled with touch when the Power Zoom lens for the LUMIX G Micro System is attached. Speed of zooming can be adjusted in 2 steps
3.0″ High Resolution LCD
The DMC-GX1 has a 3.0″ 3:2 460,000 dot LCD with a 100% field of view. Additionally, it has a wide-viewing angle that lets you frame your shot in a variety of ways for both shooting and review. LUMIX’s acclaimed Intelligent LCD function also automatically adjusts the brightness in 11 steps, according to shooting conditions. It lets you share the fun of viewing images with family and friends, too
Double Live View for the LCD and the Optional LVF
Both the LCD and the optional DMW-LVF2 (Live View Finder) give you a Full-time Live View of what you’re shooting, with a field of view of approximately 100%. The viewing method can be selected to match your shooting conditions and composition, which makes them ideal for active shooting. You can confirm the depth of field and shutter speed effects by pressing the function button, if you select the preview mode
Dust Reduction System
If dust or other foreign matter gets inside the camera when you’re changing lenses, it could cling to the image sensor and show up as a spot in your photos. The Dust Reduction System in the DMC-GX1 helps eliminate this possibility by placing the Supersonic Wave Filter in front of the Live MOS sensor, between the low-pass filter and shutter. Vibrating vertically around 50,000 times per second, the filter repels dust and other particles effectivelyFlow of the Dust Reduction System:
1. Power off
2. When the camera is turned on, the filter vibrates to shake off dirt and dust
3. The dirt and dust adhere to the absorption part to prevent it from appearing in the sensor image
Extended Battery Life
With further optimization of the electric design, the DMC-GX1 excels in energy consumption and features approximately 11% longer battery life than the DMC-G3, which complies with the same battery pack, yhe DMW-BLD10
Compatible with UHS-I Standard SDHC/SDXC Memory Cards
The DMC-GX1 is compatible with the UHS-I standard for SDXC/SDHC memory cards, taking advantage of its high-speed data transmission
0.09 Second Light Speed AF
The DMC-GX1 features 0.09 seconds of Light Speed AF, which is achieved by reducing the detection time for focusing by the synchronization of the lens and the sensor at 120 fps. Not only the accuracy, but also the speed, surpasses high-end digital SLRs with phase-difference AF with the advanced contrast AF system in the DMC-GX1
High-Precision Contrast AF System
Compared with the phase-difference system AF, the contrast AF of the DMC-GX1 boasts higher accuracy even when shooting at a small F value. The phase-difference AF system is susceptible to mechanical margin of error. However, in the contrast AF system, focusing is controlled by the image sensor so that no mechanical margin of error occurs, resulting in precise focusing
Full-Are Focusing with Touch AF
The DMC-GX1 incorporates full-area focusing which makes it possible to set focus on any point in the field of view
A Variety of AF Modes Featuring Pinpoint AF
The contrast AF system gives the DMC-GX1 a variety of AF modes. There’s an option that’s just right for any shooting situation. With the AF mode button, you can choose the focus mode you want smoothly
Touch AF in Video Recording
The touch AF in video recording lets you enjoy professional-like rack focusing. Just by pointing at the subject the focus is shifted to it, causing it to be stand out as the center of attention
AF/MF Setting
The AF/MF mode button lets you quickly change the focus mode (AFS, AFF, AFC) to maintain sharp focus on moving subjects, or while using manual focus
AFF Focusing Mode
The AFF focus mode (AF Flexible) locks the focus on when the shutter button is half-pressed, however, if the subject moves, the focusing is reset to obtain the best results
MF Assist
You can enlarge part of the photo by just a touch to select 1x, 4x, 5x or 10x and smoothly move it by dragging it on the screen. The 4x enlarged view is displayed on the framing screen making it possible to set fine focus while composing the whole picture at the same time
Quick AF
The ordinary AF is activated when the shutter button is pressed half-way, while the Quick AF starts operating as soon as the camera is pointed toward a subject. This dramatically reduces the shutter delay time and lets you take images quickly
AF+MF Function
The AF+MF function provides more efficient, more precise focusing. After focusing with AF, simply turn the focus ring manually for even finer control
High-Speed Consecutive Shooting
The Live MOS sensor helps to realize high speed burst shooting. You can take a series of shots, then choose the ones you like the best and delete the rest
4.2 fps with 16.0Mp High-Resolution
The DMC-GX1 can fire off up to 4.2 fps in full 16.0 megapixel resolution with its mechanical shutter. Great for capturing fast subject motion, such as sports scenes or birds in flight
20 fps with 4Mp Resolution
Even higher-speed burst shooting is possible with the DMC-GX1 when the electronic shutter is used – 20 fps at 4-megapixel resolution. Great for capturing race cars and other subjects that are difficult to capture with the naked eye
1920 x 1080 Full HD Video
The DMC-GX1 is an advanced photographic tool for recording not only great photos but also beautiful full HD 1,920 x 1,080 videos in AVCHD (MPEG-4 / H.264) format. The AVCHD format features almost twice the recording time in HD quality than the conventional Motion JPEG and excels in the compatibility with AV devices like HDTVs or Blu-ray Disc players
MP4 Format Recording
The DMC-GX1 can record videos in MP4 format. This format is suitable for editing videos on a computer or uploading those to websites. Resolution can be selected among 1,920 x 1,080 (20Mbps), 1,280 x 720 (10Mbps), and 640 x 480 (4Mbps), all at 30p (NTSC) / 25p (PAL)
Still Image Recording in Video Recording with 11.5Mp High Resolution
While shooting an HD video simply press / touch the shutter button and the camera will shoot a photo with 11.5 megapixel high resolution as it continues to record your video. This makes sure that you don’t miss those decisive moments with either photos or videos, or bothStill Picture Priorities
  • Images will be recorded with the set picture size and quality
  • Up to 8 still images can be recorded in the video recording mode
  • The screen will go dark while recording images. A still image will be recorded in the video during that period, and audio is not recorded

Video Priorities

  • Images will be recorded with a picture size of [S] (2Mp)
  • Up to 30 still images can be recorded in video recording
  • Only JPEG images are recorded when quality is set to RAW+Fine, RAW+Standard or RAW. (When set to RAW still images will be recorded in Fine quality)
High Quality Sound: The Power of Dolby Digital Stereo Creator
A stereo microphone, featuring Dolby Digital Stereo Creator, on the upper body records dynamic, true-to-life stereo audio that brings out the power of your HD videoMic Level Adjustment
The DMC-GX1 lets you adjust the audio input level in four stepsWind Cut
The Wind Cut function is available to block out most of the noise from background wind. This gives you higher quality sound when taking images on breezy days
Touch AF in Video Recording
Touch AF in video recording also lets you enjoy professional-like rack focusing. Just by pointing at the subject the focus is shifted to it, causing the subject to stand out
Creative Control and Photo Style
You can use the Creative Control and Photo Style functions for shooting videos. They render highly unique expressions by matching the colors to your subject and surrounding. In Miniature Effect mode the video recorded is played back in 10x fast-forwarding, making it more comical to watch
iA (Intelligent Auto) Mode
Even video beginners can record excellent videos with the DMC-GX1 because the iA (Intelligent Auto) mode is also available for video recording
Video Divide
You can divide a single video into two parts using only the camera. This is handy for compiling memorable scenes, and deleting unwanted scenes to free up space on your memory card while you are traveling
Included Software
The PHOTOfunSTUDIO 7.0 HD Edition and LoiLoScope (trial version), which are well suited for playing and editing videos, come bundled with the DMC-GX1. The PHOTOfunSTUDIO 7.0 HD Edition lets you sort and organize images with quick start-up and image loading. Video clips can be uploaded directly to YouTube. Additionally, the LoiloScope lets you experience high-speed HD video editing
VIERA Link
Photos or videos recorded in AVCHD on the SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards are easy to view on a Panasonic VIERA TV. Simply insert the card into the VIERA Image Viewer (SD/SDHC/SDXC Memory Card slot) on VIERA TV or DIGA Blu-ray Disc player to playback your content. Alternatively, you can use an optional HDMI mini cable to output photos and videos you took from the DMC-GX1 directly to the TV for VIERA Link. Most of the control is possible by using only the TV’s remote control
Creative Control
The Creative Control lets you enjoy making your images more expressive. In addition, the DMC-GX1’s Creative Control mode enables you to adjust the effect and defocusing area just by moving the slider with your finger
Touch Defocus Control
In the iA Plus mode and the Creative Control mode the range of defocus can be adjusted by just moving the slider with your finger
Photo Style
You can manually choose from 6 color types to get even more detailed image settings, or to match the shooting situation. In addition, the contrast, sharpness, saturation or noise reduction for each mode parameter can be customized in 5 steps and stored in memory. In Custom Mode, finely customized settings can be stored for easy recall and useColor types include: Standard, Vivid, Natural, Monochrome, Scenery, and Portrait
Expandability with Optional Accessories Featuring the LVF (Live View Finder)
You can equip the DMC-GX1 with an optional 1,440,000-dot equivalent Live View Finder (LVF) DMW-LVF2 featuring a magnification of approximately 1.4x (0.7x) and 100% field of view. Because it displays the same information as the LCD, it is effectively used in situations where the LCD is difficult to see, such as under bright sunlight. The LVF is also handy for low-angle shots because it can be tilted vertically from 0 to 90 degrees
Scene Mode Featuring Peripheral Defocus Mode
The Scene Mode function lets the camera make the optimal settings for you automatically, so anybody can take superb photos and videos with ease. The Peripheral Defocus Mode for still images automatically adjusts the focus to match the AF area you positioned while gently defocusing the foreground and background to emphasize the subject
Select from 4 Aspect Ratios
The DMC-GX1 lets you shoot in aspect ratios of 4:3, 3:2, 16:9, and 1:1 mode. The 1:1 mode gives you unique, square-shaped photos. Being able to match the aspect ratio to your subject and shooting intent gives you even greater expressionShading Compensation
The shading function on the DMC-GX1 corrects vignetting to give you clear images with uniform brightness overall
Extra Tele Conversion Function
The Extra Tele Conversion function virtually extends the zoom range when recording images not in the full-size. So you can take telephoto shots even with lenses that don’t normally allow zooming
RAW Format Compatibility
You can get original image data, recording the image directly from the Live MOS sensor without any image processing. The SILKYPIX Developer Studio 3.1 SE software utility lets you develop RAW data files. For example, you can develop RAW data to create an image with the effect you were trying to capture when you took the shot. You get high-level basic image processing abilities that give you control over such things as unnatural edges from saturated color borders, false colors in structures with intricate detail, and chromatic noise in photos taken at high sensitivity settings. This utility provides a unique combination of high resolution and extraordinary color separation performance. In addition, the DMC-GX1 allows consecutive shots to be taken at up to 9 fps in RAW format. Shooting continues even while the image data is being stored in memory
Detailed Setting Functions
Full-time Live View on the DMC-GX1 lets anybody use its easy-to-understand and detailed setting functions. Setting functions include:Exposure Meter Guide: The One Push AE adjusts exposure with a single press of the Fn (Function) button when it is over/under exposure. It is especially useful for shooting outdoors with an open aperture or indoors with a fast shutter speed
Finely Detailed White Balance Setting: The DMC-GX1’s 2-axis adjustment feature gives you a finer white balance adjustment for Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Incandescent, or Flash conditions. It can also be used when adjusting the Color Temperature Setting or White Set function. You can adjust with a reference to the horizontal axis for amber to blue and the vertical axis for green to magenta. You can recall the adjustment conditions quickly by pressing the WB button
White Balance Bracket: The white balance bracket function shots 3 consecutive photos with slight changes to the white balance setting of each photo in both the horizontal (amber to blue) and vertical (green to magenta) axis, by simply pressing the shutter once
Auto Bracket: The Auto Bracket function records several photos at varied exposure levels in a compensation range of +/- EV 3 in 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, or 1 EV steps. The DMC-GX1 will record up to 7 images with a single press of the shutter button
Movable Guide Lines: With the DMC-GX1 you can move the guide lines according to the subject’s position. This is handy when you want to take extra care in framing, especially when using a tripod
Movable Histogram: The histogram display makes it possible to check exposure and contrast in real-time. With the DMC-GX1, you can freely move the histogram to a position where it will not block the subject on the screen
Exposure Compensation +/-5 EV: You can adjust the exposure compensation within a range of +/- EV 5 in 1/3 EV steps. In P/A/S modes you can retrieve the exposure compensation value and manually adjust it directly
Long Shutter Noise Reduction: The camera automatically removes noise generated when taking photos at slow shutter speeds, such as nighttime shooting, always giving you beautiful images
ISO Limit Setting: The maximum sensitivity setting is applied to the Intelligent ISO Control and ISO AUTO functions. This ensures that you’ll get the level of image quality you want by letting you set your own limit for ISO sensitivity
ISO Sensitivity Setting: You can set the ISO sensitivity to Auto, Intelligent ISO, 160, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400 or 12800. When the ISO sensitivity step is set to 1/3 EV the number of ISO sensitivity setting options increases, allowing you to make fine adjustments and achieve the level of image quality you want
iA (Intelligent Auto) Plus
In the iA mode, the camera does all the work, leaving you free to compose your shot and capture the moment. You just press, aim and shoot. Once you’ve selected the iA Mode, the detection and correction functions go to work to give you beautiful photos and videos with maximum ease. In addition, the iA Plus Mode enables you to adjust the defocusing area, exposure compensation, and white balance by simply moving the slider with your finger
Useful, Convenient Shooting-Assist Functions
Shake Detection – Power O.I.S. / MEGA O.I.S.: The POWER O.I.S. and MEGA O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) that’s built into Micro Four Thirds lenses detect and compensate for blurring caused by hand-shake, so you can get sharp, clear shots every time you shoot
Face Recognition: The Face Recognition function remembers faces that have been registered in the camera and provides the faces with optimal focus and exposure
Face Detection – Face Detection AF/AE: The Face Detection function detects faces anywhere in the frame and automatically chooses the optimal focus and exposure. The Face Detection also features the Digital Red-eye Correction (Red-eye Removal)
Subject Detection – AF Tracking: Once you focus on your subject, the AF Tracking automatically and continuously tracks it and keeps it in focus and properly exposed.
Motion Detection – Intelligent ISO Control: The Intelligent ISO Control function detects subject movement and automatically adjusts the ISO setting and shutter speed to best suit light conditions and movement
Scene Detection – Intelligent Scene Selector: The Intelligent Scene Selector senses the ambient conditions and automatically selects any of the Scenery, Portrait, Macro, Night Portrait, Night Scenery, or Sunset modes accordingly
Touch Screen Operation: Once the subject is touched, the camera judges the optional settings and automatically switches to the appropriate shooting mode
Light Detection – Intelligent D-range Control: The Intelligent D-range Control offers natural looking images by optimizing the exposure for each part of an image, preventing blocked shadows and blown highlights and helping ensure that gradation and details are reproduced beautifully including the blue sky
Intelligent Resolution Technology: Apart from the uniform enhancement of sharpness, the innovative technology Intelligent Resolution precisely performs signal processing pixel by pixel in the most effective way according to the area. As a result, images are naturally clear and crisp
Optional 3D Shooting
The compact, optional 3D-capable interchangeable lens, LUMIX G 12.5mm/F12 allows easier handling and instant 3D shooting with cameras without a special structure for 3D shooting. It produces 3D images without distortion or time lag between left and right images, even for moving objects. The 3D images, even close-up shots, taken with this lens are easy on the eyes when viewed on VIERA 3D TVs
3D Image Viewer / VIEWER Link
Photos or videos recorded in AVCHD on the SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards are easy to view on a Panasonic VIERA TV. Simply insert the card into the VIERA Image Viewer (SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card slot) on an optional VIERA TV or DIGA Blu-ray Disc player to review your content. Alternatively, you can use an optional HDMI mini cable to output the photos and videos you took from the DMC-GX1 directly to the TV for VIERA Link. Most of the control is possible using only the TV’s remote control
PHOTOfunSTUDIO 7.0 HD Edition
The PHOTOfunSTUDIO 7.0 HD Edition makes it possible to sort and organize photos – not only those that were newly taken, but also those stored in your computer – with quick start-up and fast read-in of images. The Face Recognition function that recognizes the faces in the picture automatically sorts the photos by the registered facesYou can also enjoy slideshows with a variety of effects and use your iTunes music library for background music – burning it onto a DVD disc in MPEG2. It is easy to create an edited short video just by selecting the photos and video clips you like with Short Movie Story function. Photos and videos can be uploaded to Facebook or YouTube via the same interface
SILKYPIX Developer Studio 3.1 SE
The DMC-GX1 records original image data in the RAW file format, which allows images to be developed according to your liking. A number of highly advanced functions can be applied to these RAW images by using the SILKYPIX Developer Studio 3.1 SE software utility, with its unique combination of high resolution and extraordinary color separation performance
LoiLoScope (Trial Version)
You can easily edit, convert and manage videos that you took in AVCHD format. There are many effects to choose from. This helps to create the kind of videos you want!
Playback Functions
Just press the playback button on the camera back to switch the DMC-GX1 to playback mode. You can enjoy crisp, clear images on the 3.0″, 460,000 dot LCD. Images are bright and easy to see, even outdoors on a sunny day. Along with the ordinary playback screen, there is a variety of information screens. You can also mark images as favorites and keep them protected so they don’t get accidentally erased
Scene Modes
Still Image Scene Modes: Portrait, Soft Skin, Scenery, Architecture, Sports, Peripheral Defocus, Flower, Food, Objects, Night Portrait, Night Scenery, Illuminations, Baby 1, Baby 2, Pet, Party, SunsetVideo Scene Mode: Portrait, Soft Skin, Scenery, Architecture, Sports, Flower, Food, Objects, Lowlight, Party, Sunset
Languages
English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Russian, Chinese (Traditional), Chinese (Simplified), Dutch, Thai, Korean, Turkish, Portuguese, Arabic, Persian, Japanese, Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Greek, Vietnamese
Creative Control
(Still image and Motion image) Expressive, Retro, High Key, Low Key, Sepia, High Dynamic, Toy Effect, Miniature Effect

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43 Comments

  1. anyone know why my camera stops recording on its own when in a stationary tripod postion.? weird thing is it stops at different times.. dont know if its a motion detection thing or what but frustrating

  2. Good evening Steve, a terrific site. I am still using my GF 1 with 18/2,5 – 20/1,7 – 45/2,8 and 45/1,8.
    Always in raw. Because it is that good.

  3. If Panasonic doesn’t get their thumb out of their fannie and go with a tilt screen with more resolution, a built in view finder and better low light shooting ability in their small GX1 style camera bodies, I’m switching to Sony or someone else and I’m not alone!

    Panasonic has a bad habit of throwing you a bone or two there by getting you to buy the latest camera or lense, then they jack up the price a couple hundred bucks! Next these guys wait six months or so and pull the same bull all over again!

    I know other camera companies do the same thing, but the Panasonic folks are pros at this stuff! Nothing like thanking the people who made you rich with a good screwing!

  4. I have so many digital cameras now I don’t know what to do with a new one. Like the idea of the lens but it’s still a 50mm equivalent lens that shoots at 1.4 with the depth of field equivalent of f2.8 in 35mm format. Is it really that much smaller than a DSLR or a rangefinder? Wouldn’t I be better off buying a 35mm lens for a Nikon or Canon with the money?

    There is still no equivalent to a Hasselblad Xpan/Fuji TX2 in digital land out there. Good the lens is likely to be, it is still not wide enough for anything other than happy snaps. That lens needs to be 17mm f 1.4 to make it a 35mm equivalent with all the technical clarity of a 35mm f1.4 leica asph to make it really special. This is where I think the technical boundary should be aimed at. Does the world really need another 50mm lens equivalent? Is it worth the effort compared to the alternatives out there? I need that question answered.

    Thanks for all the good work. Love your website.

    Best wishes for 2012.

  5. I have owned a GF1, and currently own and frequently use a P2, and both are excellent bodies when used within their limitations.

    HowevertTo me, the GX1 is a missed opportunity, and in one respect a step backwards:

    GX1

    – Lost the drive mode dial/bracketing lever, which was very useful for quick selection of bracketing for HDR.

    – Still (apparently) no implementation of even the most limited tethering capabilities.

    P2 (also P3?)

    – Still no custom modes

    – Limited bracketing capability

    – Still no implementation of even the most limited tethering capabilities.

    These are not difficult or expensive features to implement , but until they are done both m43 bodies remain in these respects “toy” cameras, as they cannot substitute for existing APC DSLR/EVF bodies for things I need to do.

    More generally, look at the trend in direct control accessibly in the G1 -> G2 -> G3 progression – I’m still using a G1 for this reason – despite the inferior sensor.

    So I’m certainly going to wait for the next Olympus release before springing for a GX1… however I’m also pretty much resigned to the fact that there will never a M43 body which directly competes in such respects with even the most basic entry level, APC DSLRs.

  6. @Steve Huff

    If you want a built-in EVF on the next GX model post your idea on the Micro Four Thirds Photography Forum “What feature would you like to see in the next design LUMIX GH, GX, G, GF?” that Darin Pepple, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Panasonic USA started.

    http://www.linkedin.com/groupAnswers?viewQuestionAndAnswers=&discussionID=82206308&gid=2382220&commentID=62809451&trk=view_disc&ut=19YwK_wHg91l41

    In the meantime, if you’re looking for an MFT camera with a built-in EVF consider the G3 or the GH2. They also have new sensors that beat the E-P3’s three year old sensor. The E-P3 was not the best MFT camera before the GX1 came along.

  7. Steve wrote: “…the now considered classic GF1, the 1st Panasonic Micro 4/3 camera…”

    Wrong — the first Panasonic Micro 4/3 camera was the G1. (n fact, that was the first Micro 4/3 camera, period.)

    Maybe you overlooked it because so many people here seem to be hung up on the notion that if a camera has a built-in EVF, it MUST be stuck on the left end of the body (like the holy Fuji X100 and Sony NEX-7.)

  8. Hi steve, can you do camparison between GX1 + 25 1.4 and NEX 5n + 50 1.8 (strictly these body/lens combo only)?

  9. Got mine yesterday and while I still need more time with it, I’m already in love with my new baby. Thats not with any camera I got in recent years. (The x100 was the latest, I sold it last month after a half year of desperately trying to get my shooting style around this fiddly beast). Shooting my GF1 for now two years nearly daily left me wanting a *real* sucessor to the camera – and here it is.

    Fast AF, higher MP, lots of details, very good IQ to 1600ISO for bigger prints (GF1 was 800ISO max for me), robust body (though my GF1 took a heavy shower in saltwater, shut it down immediately and after two days of drying still works like new) and this rubber grip makes all the difference. Plus its even more customisable.

    Images are a bit noisy/grainy but I like that kind of noise. Thats even a low ISO like 400. It feels not disturbing and postprocessing in Lightroom is no problem at all. Great deep images come out of my old 130NR.

    A perfect sucessor if you can live without a viewfinder. Oh, and if you are new to M4/3 get that 20/1,7! Its worth every penny.

    If Sony would have had better, faster lenses from the getgo, I probably would’ve gone with the 5N. But since I have a lot of M4/3 lenses, it was the best decision for me, I guess. And I’m so happy with my new *take everywere* camera…

  10. I am looking forward to the review. Sooner or later I will break down and get a camera with faster autofocus. I can’t keep up with my son, and neither can my dslr. This website seems to be one of the few places anyone trusts to compare autofocus spped (and accuracy) between Oly, Panny, and Nikon.

  11. I can see that Panasonic’s processing engine has improved a lot. However, the colors still aren’t right.

    My takes are:
    -Unnatural skin tones.
    -Digital colors such as the greens on the pictures in this article.
    -Over-saturation and/or color clipping in reds.

    I got a GF-1 and and I shoot RAW. I process them using ACR and still have to do more processing in Photoshop to get the vivid and natural looking pictures.

    Regarding the specs of GX-1, I think that what people wanted was a G-3 in a rangefinder styling [period]. So I think Panasonic should have kept the GF line to the point-and-shooters and replaced the G-3 with a new rangefinder looking camera. After that, the G series should continue to be a rangefinder like series. People who like SLR styling still can get the GH series.

    One more last thing, GX-1 is still using the old AVHCD with 30 fps.

  12. Now let’s dream a bit about interfaces…
    – Let’s dream that the GX2 will have an interface similar to Canon G12 P&S (several direct dials, on top of each other like in the film era when necessary).
    – Let’s dream that the E-P4 will have, in addition to the two dials of its ancestors, a “ring” around the mount (see E-PM1/E-PL3) but made useful (customized à-la Canon S95/Samsung i-Fn).

  13. I suspect the price will be discounted before too long. When the EP-2 and EP-3 were originally released they retailed for $1100 as well with the kit lens or 17mm lens. Also of note the GF1 was ~$200 more expensive than the G1 so this is keeping pretty consistent pricing there. I own(ed) a G1 still and I sold my GF1 when I got my M9. The GX1 looks to be the suitable successor to the GF11 and it’s about time. I never really took a liking to most of the Olympus camera as the Panasonic lenses focused slower on them and they didn’t seem to have a full on commitment to the improvements needed in Micro 4/3 IMO… I also NEVER shoot JPEG. All in all looking forward to the review.

    • Also regarding the price the X100 is less versatile and cost twice as much and the NEX7 costs twice as much but doesn’t have the native lens selection. The NEX5n is a better value when looking only at the body but again – native lens selection could be an issue for some people out there.

  14. Would love to know how the Oly 12mm f/2 lens performs on the GX1. It’s my all time favourite lens. Love my E-P2, but the sensor is showing its age against the newer stuff out there. That lens with a more modern sensor I’d imagine would be a fabulous combination.

  15. “Of course there is still the Panasonic G3 if you like a DSLR shape and EVF.”

    Steve: this is the biggest problem I see with the GX1; it’s a G3 with a more compact, better looking body, no tilt/swivel LCD, no EVF, and the same money. Are there any processing/focus speed improvements?

    If not, I really have a hard time understanding why I would want a GX1 over a G3. Even if there are some improvements, I still am not particularly sold on the GX1, especially since it’s not all that much smaller than the G3.The G3 is only a 1.5 cm taller than the GX1 and isn’t all that much thicker (part of that thickness is a bigger handgrip, which some may prefer). Add an EVF and those advantages shrink substantially, if not disappear altogether. The GX1 is ~20% lighter than the G3, which is something, though the G3 weighs about as much as my E-P1 does. Check out http://camerasize.com/compare/#185,183 to see what I mean.

    I didn’t care for the G3 when it came out because it looks very eh, but the more I look at the current crop of Micro Four Thirds cameras, the more i warm up to it. Other than in-body image stabilization and one more control wheel (I like the click wheel it has, but I want one more control wheel – say, around the 4-way button dial – so that when I’m in manual mode, I can adjust aperture, shutter, and ISO without going into any menus), it has just about all of the features I think I want. Perhaps Panasonic’s real sin with the G3 wasn’t that Panasonic shrunk it down from the even more DSLR-ish G2, but that they didn’t offset the EVF and the flash next to it (rather than around the viewfinder like an SLR), so that it would look like an SLR?

      • I had a look at the reviews and also tried in jacobs (here in UK) and there isn’t any differences in AF speed (or it is marginal at best). Other than that g3 has the same sensor, EVF, and cost significantly less, besides the packaging I really can’t see the reason of choosing gx1 over g3 and paying more money for it., it is just marginally smaller. It is better to invest price difference into buying some nice lens like Oly 45mm for example

        • The GX1 body is metal and feels very solid in your hand. That does justify some of the expense…..but the plastic G3 does have a lot of advantages: lower cost ($600 for the G3 vs $900 for the GX1 with LVF2), built in EVF and articulating screen to name a few. If those things are more important to you that is an easy decision to make….and yes Mike…money left over for another lens!!!!!!! LOL!.
          I bet the price comes down on the GX1 relatively soon in the new year, though.

          • I don’t think the GX1 is intended to be an upgrade for a G3. It is the continuation of the GF1. Different form factor altogether. In my mind there are 3 Panasonic lines..GH line for video priority, G line for slr type body with articulating screen and the GF/GX line, with small modular form factor and quality construction. ( The GF2 and GF3 were just brain farts, LOL)..I am deleting the GF2 and GF3 as mistakes…and the GX picks up the beauty and style of the original GF1.

        • I’m really beginning to hate that company, panasonic.

          They have spent a whole year to dwindle down the G3, remove its asset’s (EVF and swivel LCD)
          And they dare to call it a new model and charge actually MORE of it?

          How stupid do Panasonic think we are? this is insulting.

  16. Im bummed by no articulating LCD either. Give us at least one modern tool!

    The gf1 is am favorite handling small camera to date, but it needed a sensor update. It’s really a bummer they stopped so close to perfect mft.

  17. To my mind, Panasonic’s development of the G series has been confused and necessarily constricted.

    My guess is that there’s no VF on the GX1 because they wanted to hit a certain price point (<1K w/lens) and they didn't want to create something that could be confused with the G3. The result is another incremental Panasonic upgrade.

    These are still great cameras from what I've seen, but I can't help but think Panasonic's roadmap is totally muddled and seems to be more about reacting to what others are doing rather than getting out ahead. They've squandered the momentum they had.

    • but what then to say about olympus, and their ep3, epl3 and pen mini, none of which has EVF and those have the same old sensor that was first seen in olympus e620 more than 3 years ago. At least panasonic offers models with and without evf and brand new sensor. I agree that gf2 and gf3 are a bit of a miss.

    • Panasonic:
      – G line: integrated viewfinder and articulated screen, advanced interface
      – GH line: integrated viewfinder and articulated screen, advanced interface, advanced video
      – GF line: compact, simple interface
      – GX line: compact, advanced interface
      (The first occurrence of the compact design, GF1, didn’t differentiate based on the interface)

      Olympus:
      – E-P line: advanced interface, classical features
      – E-PL line: intermediate interface, new features
      – E-PM line: simple interface
      (For now, it seems the intermediate line is the first to receive new features and/or the one where Olympus experiments a bit — that’s a Japanese marketing school at least 20 year-old, same as Canon, Nikon, Sony/Minolta)

    • I think people are more forgiving of Olympus because of the absence of a G/GH equivalent. At the beginning, MFT users were clamouring for an Olympus MFT camera with in-built EVF, but it never eventuated. Everyone has since forgotten about it, and accepted that Olympus was dead set on its PEN line.

  18. Hey, Steve, or anyone who has knowledge of this topic: can a full res photo from a MFT like the GX1 be printed (landscape or a portrait) at a size around 24″ to 30″ and still look nice? That is to say not pixelized or real grainy… Thanks! I really want a useful and dynamic small camera because I know I am lazy and the big, hefty DSLRs are too much to lug around all the time. I like having my camera with me constantly.

    • Hey Rick:

      I printed a bunch of 16×20’s from my E-P1; they all came out gorgeous, even though they were shot in JPG (I hadn’t discovered RAW yet) and even though one was cropped down to about 11 MP. I’d be confident printing an image from any of the PEN’s (which all have 12 MP sensors, to date) at up to 24″ without question, and I’d have no problem printing a 30″ photo from the 16 MP G3/GH2/GX1 (other than figuring out where to hang the image 😉 ).

      • RohithT… Thanks for the insight! I appreciate that a lot…I can’t wait to see the review for the GX1. Have a great day!

    • PRINTING…

      If you take the pixel ratio of the image you shot and decide on the dpi of the print quality you are looking to make that will tell you the maximum printing size.

      254dpi or 300dpi is what you should look at when printing. I then assign every pixel to a dot. The Panasonic GX1 has a maximum RAW pixel size of [4:3] 4592 x 3448. When converting that to 300dpi your maximum print size would be 15.3 inch x 11.4 inch… If you decrease the dpi to 254 you can stretch the image to 18.0 inch x 12.5 inch.

      Anything below this pixel density your image will start looking pixelated!

      The Sony NEX-7 will give you a larger [3:2] 6000 x 4000… and at 254 dpi you get to 23.6 inch by 15.7 inch. This is closer to your requested size of 24″ – 30″

      Good luck!

      • Sorry, but that really isnt how printing digital files works. It is always nice to have plenty of pixels to burn, but you can easily go far beyond the native resolution of the file with no danger of the photo looking “pixelated”. I have mounted shows of 16×20 prints from 3mp camera files, and not only did they not look pixelated, other photographers refused to believe they were even shot digitally.

        The issue of noise is slightly different; a noisy file can sometimes look “pixelated” even when printed at less than its ntive resolution. But almost any of todays cameras are relatively noise free at a broad range of isos, and id necessary there is always noise reduction processing.

  19. Looking forward to this review as I have been waiting for a replacement for the GF1 I sold when getting the X100. Always prefered the form of the GF1/GX1 over the E-P1/2/3, but still very curious about how it compare to the E-P3.

  20. I guess there are not many, if any Panasonic fans on this site… but…I picked up a GX1 a couple of days before Christmas as an update and a companion to my GF1 (I am keeping it). Have to to say it is a nice step (perhaps it could have been a bigger stride, tho) up for one of my favorite cameras. Noticeably smaller (which I could almost do without), a lot faster (frame rate, focusing AND write speeds), and a significant upgrade in image quality. Plus, I get all the zoom readout and camera controls for the 45-175 “X” lens I have been using (GF1 firmware unable to accomodate that lens). I purchase the “Astin-Martin” silver addition and it is quite a smart looking camera as well. Also, I am NOT a fan of touch screens on a camera and figured when I bought this I could turn it off (which I can), but the interface is so well designed and tactile that I have changed my outlook on that aspect of the camera. I really like it. It feels like I just got the sportier, more nimble turbo-charged version of my GF1, a version that is EXTREMELY customizable with many personal-preference, function buttons. It is a joy to use. If you like the GF1…you will love this camera.

    • Oh…forgot to mention…I picked up the LVF2 Viewfinder (gotta have a VF for me…it’s a must >$199 shipped)..and that is really a nice improvement over the LVF 1, both from a resolution and design standpoint. Some very nice changes there!
      I agree with Steve… This makes the camera/ VF combo very pricey in this market…but I have 9 MFT AF lenses and this was the camera I really wanted for an upgrade…and so far I am glad I bought it.

    • You are not making it easier! 🙂 I loved the GF1 and are tempted by the GX1. Almost bought one before Christmas, but since I sold all my MFT gear I also need lenses and are not tempted by the current kit lenses. Rather have the 20mm that came witht he GF1. Will probably pick it up unless Steve really trashes it! 🙂

  21. Looks really good, i’ve been thinking about this combination, but with $1,240 price tag…
    These new m4/3 products coming out every week don’t make your holidays easier, keep up the good work, Steve.

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